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The who's and how's of marketing Playing Lean

In August 2019 we started our free monthly Playing Lean Webinars. The webinars focus on specialized topics, like using Playing Lean as a part of an accelerator program or within academia for entrepreneurship course, as well as tips and tricks from some of our best facilitators.  

At the end of each webinar, we have a Q&A in which our speakers answer questions by participants. Apart from the general Q&A for the game which relates to setup and game mechanics, here are some answers to interesting questions we thought might be useful to anyone who wants to use Playing Lean in their training program and wants to know who to sell it to and how.

What is the best way to promote the value of Playing Lean and get entrepreneurs interested in playing it?

In our own experience, the best approach is to find out what entrepreneurs really want. Entrepreneurs want to build successful businesses. They look for time efficient ways of learning something. They, for example, want to learn about the Lean Startup but there are so many books and articles out there that they don't know where to start. Even though Bruno compiled a list of great books to start with, playing the game can be the first step. It's easier to get someone to play a game than to read a book.

When it comes to entrepreneurs, we rarely sold a workshop directly to them. The clients were accelerators, incubators and startup hubs, because they usually want to have interesting events to attract new people, and keep the current subscribers they have to show them that it's worth staying with them.

What's the best way to market Playing Lean to conferences?

Conferences are usually for corporates, and the tickets are pricey. Often workshop tickets are charged extra. The logic behind selling to conferences is similar to the one explained above. Conference organisers want something attractive to offer their attendees, something that's fun and can produce results. Playing the game generates an understanding of Lean Startup principles, and Bruno explained why and how in a post he wrote for Planet Lean.

It's also easy to market a fun workshop to an old school type conference where you have lectures in which people go through slides that are cramped with text. In our experience, these workshops always had a large turn out and the organiser and participants were very happy with the value they got from them.  

What example metrics do you have to validate ROI in releasing a team for Playing Lean for a day?

Within a corporate setting, Playing Lean can be used to drive engagement, while also building a foundation for further development of the Lean Startup expertise.

Let's say you're running a 12 week corporate accelerator. Playing Lean would have a perfect spot in the early stages, where you need to build down the resistance to accepting new concepts. You want to create awareness, reduce resistance and get people to work with each other. Playing Lean is great for team building, to see how people engage with each other. People will be happier after playing the game, and the game can also build some critical discussion.

Which roles would you invite to a workshop in a corporate context?

Depends on your workshops and who you are aiming for. The most often group of people that seek this type of knowledge, and that we have in corporate workshops, are roles related to product owners, product managers, agile teams, developers, business developers, innovation units, service designers and innovation support units. Of course, Playing Lean workshops are not limited just to them. 

We hope these answers will help you to figure out how to market your Playing Lean workshops. Combine them with our guide on How to sell Playing Lean workshops, and incorporate all of the learning into your training program.  

If you want to master your Playing Lean workshop facilitation, we offer an online training course - Playing Lean Facilitator training. We'll give you an introduction to Lean Startup that you can use, insight into the Facilitator Theory making sure you know all the tips and tricks we use ourselves use, the backstories for the Hospitality Experiment Cards enabling you to teach lots of Lean Startup lessons as your games progress, and personal feedback by Playing Lean game creators on your facilitation skills.

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